Online business – where do you start?
Starting an online business is not easy. Because you will find too many online business advisors that give you plans that always are missing some important parts of the puzzle. These are often gurus that has made a living of advising online newcomers on the “secrets” of online marketing, but they have never run a business off line with direct customer contact.
Are there really any secrets in online business?
But are there really any secrets in marketing, be it on or offline? In my opinion doing business online is the same as doing business offline. Business is a process between people; – one has a problem and the other has a solution. Through negotiation they find a common ground – an acceptable price for the solution. Then the buyer can solve his problem and be satisfied, while the seller make a profit. The seller can then continue to do (online) business.
To make it clear – you find a marked you want to serve, and provide the solution(s) to their biggest problem(s) or want(s). But other businesses will also provide similar solutions. The way you win the sale is to build a rapport with the potential customers and win their trust. You make them your tribe. At that stage you will get the sale!
To sum up: you find your tribe and provide solutions to their problems and get the business.
What is the similarities between online business and the “real” world?
Online business is very similar to direct mail marketing from the real world. Direct marketers could not get in personal contact with the potential customers. Therefore they studied human behavior and how we make our buying decisions.The result they came up with are that all our decisions are emotionally based. Afterwards we rationalize our decisions by finding the features of the gadget or whatever we bought. But our decision were based on the benefits the product would give us – or the emotions the product instilled in us!
So therefore when you read about sales copy they always tell you to emphasize the benefit of the product, not the features! So the sales process is really based on our emotional triggers. And this can also be misused to sell crappy products, but that’s not how we shall do our business. As online business people we shall serve our customers and bring value to them, that’s how we build a long term online business.